first_imgRecently, University of Georgia researchers worked with a team of scientists to help sequence and analyze the genome of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, green beans, pole beans and others are varieties of the common bean. Beans are a staple crop and primary protein source for millions of people around the world, but very little has been known about their domestication or nitrogen-fixing properties until now. For the study, the team sequenced and assembled a 473-million basepair genome of the common bean. Thought to have originated in Mexico more than 100,000 years ago, the common bean was domesticated separately at two different geographic locations in Mesoamerica and the Andes. The team compared sequences from pooled populations representing these regions, finding only a small fraction of shared genes. This indicated that different events had been involved in the domestication process at each location. The project was supported by the DOE Office of Science, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation. “Unlocking the genetic makeup of the common bean is a tremendous achievement that will lead to future advances in feeding the world’s growing population through improved crop production,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “While we have much to learn about the application of genomics in agriculture, this study is groundbreaking. I applaud the work of this team of scientists and look forward to their continued work in this important area.” The common bean ranks as the 10th most grown food crop worldwide. In addition to being an important source of protein and calories for millions of people, common bean is also important as an agricultural tool for its ability to fix nitrogen-poor soils. McClean presented on the common bean genome project at the recent Ninth Annual DOE JGI Genomics of Energy and Environment Meeting. Watch the video at All plants require nitrogen to thrive. However, many agricultural lands are deficient in nitrogen, leading farmers to rely on chemical fertilizers to supply the needed nutrient for their crops. Scott Jackson, director of the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dan Rokhsar of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, Jeremy Schmutz of the DOE JGI and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Phil McClean of North Dakota State University led the team. Their work appeared in the June 8 issue of Nature Genetics. ### The team then compared the high-quality common bean genome against the sequence of its most economically important relative, the soybean. They found evidence of synteny, in which a gene in one species is present in another. They also noted that the common bean’s genome had evolved more rapidly than the soybean’s once they diverged from the last common ancestor nearly 20 million years ago. Note to editors: The work conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. This research was funded by USDA-NIFA 2006-35300-17266 and the National Science Foundation (DBI 0822258) to SAJ, and USDA-CSREES (2009-01860) and (2009-01929) to SAJ and PM, respectively. The team looked for regions associated with traits such as low diversity, flowering time and nitrogen metabolism. They found dense clusters of genes related to disease resistance within the chromosomes. They also identified a handful of genes involved in nitrogen fixing. “Common bean is an integral part of a sustainable agricultural system due to its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen to enrich the soil,” Jackson said. “It is also an important protein source in many developing countries.” Legumes—such as the common bean and soybean—form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which maximize the amount of useable nitrogen plants can extract from the soil. Understanding how such symbiotic relationships are formed and sustained is crucial to improving agricultural practices, as increasing crop yields are desired both for fuel and food production. “Improvement of common bean will require a more fundamental understanding of the genetic basis of how it responds to biotic and abiotic stresses,” the team concluded. “These findings provide information on regions of the genome that have been intensely selected either during domestication or early improvement and thus provide targets for future crop improvement efforts.” This information could be beneficial for farmers practicing the intercropping system known as milpa, in which beans and maize or, occasionally, squash are planted either simultaneously or in a relay system where the beans follow maize. The practice ensures the land can continue to produce high-yield crops without resorting to fertilizer inputs or other artificial methods of providing nutrients to the soil.last_img read more

first_img continue reading » Turks and Caicos Islands Government has joined World Council of Credit Unions as an associate member to initiate the development and introduction of credit unions to its people.A British Overseas territory with its own system of self-governance, Turks and Caicos passed a suite of 2019 legislation that permitted the licensing of credit unions in the country for the first time. The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Finance then sought and was approved for membership with World Council, which will allow it to access World Council’s best practices in credit union development and networking.“We believe that a relationship with WOCCU will afford the Government an opportunity to achieve, as WOCCU describes it: ‘the self-sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives…to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services’ within our country,” said Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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first_img“Imperial continues to engage in a wide range of exploratory discussions relating to COVID-19 research, with a variety of partners. We have nothing further to report at this stage,” a spokeswoman said, asked about the possibility of challenge trials.Any trials conducted in the United Kingdom have to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the healthcare regulator which looks into safety and protocol.The MHRA did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment, but 1Day Sooner, which lobbies for challenge trials to accelerate vaccine development, welcomed the report.”1Day Sooner congratulates the British government on their plans to conduct challenge trials to test vaccines,” it said in a statement, confirming it would petition the government to house the trial participants.The industry has seen discussions in recent months about potentially having to inject healthy volunteers with the novel coronavirus if drugmakers struggled to find enough patients for final trials.The FT report said that volunteers would first be inoculated with a vaccine and later receive a challenge dose of the coronavirus. It did not name the vaccines that would be assessed in the project.British drugmaker AstraZeneca, and French firm Sanofi both told Reuters that their vaccine candidates were not involved in the program. Britain is planning to host clinical trials where volunteers are deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to test the effectiveness of vaccine candidates, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people involved in the project.So-called “challenge trials” are expected to begin in January at a quarantine facility in London, the report said, adding that about 2,000 participants had signed up through a US-based advocacy group, 1Day Sooner. Britain said it was working with partners on the potential for human challenge trials without commenting on a specific plan. “We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a COVID-19 vaccine through human challenge studies,” a government spokeswoman said.”These discussions are part of our work to research ways of treating, limiting and hopefully preventing the virus so we can end the pandemic sooner.”The FT reported that the studies will be government funded, although 1Day Sooner said it would also launch a petition for public funding of a biocontainment facility big enough to quarantine 100 to 200 participants.Imperial College London, reportedly the academic lead on the trials, did not confirm the studies.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgThe home at 815 New Cleveland Rd, Gumdale.The main home has a dedicated media room, library and office. Outside is a 25m heated pool and spa with water feature and glass fencing. A shed at the front of the property includes a single garage, and a self-contained granny flat with kitchenette and bathroom. Towards the back of the property is a three-bay shed, which can accommodate up to 12 cars, and a boat shed. The home at 815 New Cleveland Rd, Gumdale.Back inside, the master bedroom has patio access, a walk-in robe and a huge ensuite with double shower, corner spa, dual basins and separate toilet. One of the remaining bedrooms also has a walk-in robe and the rest have built-ins. The family bathroom has a separate shower and bath and the laundry has plenty of storage and bench space. The home at 815 New Cleveland Rd, Gumdale.THIS sprawling executive home on acreage is on the market in Gumdale. The five-bedroom home, at 815 New Cleveland Rd, has open-plan living, a poolside entertainment area, granny flat and parking for up to 15 vehicles. Marketing agent Michelle Rodgers, of McGrath Estate Agents Bayside Manly, said the property was the “embodiment of modern luxury” and offered a relaxed lifestyle in a sought-after suburb. The house is on a private, fenced 0.99ha block with electric gates and tree-lined driveway. center_img The home at 815 New Cleveland Rd, Gumdale.The front doors open to a foyer with fountain and a lounge room with built-in shelving and timber floors. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The hub of the home is the open-plan living, dining and kitchen area with tiled floors, wet bar and bi-fold doors opening to the poolside patio. The big kitchen has stone benchtops, stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry and a breakfast bar, while the wet bar has bi-fold windows that open to the patio with a built-in barbecue and sauna.last_img read more

first_imgGothenburg-based AP2, one of Sweden’s four main state pension buffer funds, has invested in a social bond that focuses on gender equality, issued by the World Bank.AP2 said the bond met the criteria of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fourth SDG specifically relates to gender equality.The purpose of the bond was to raise awareness of gender issues in general, and to promote the empowerment of women and girls – thereby promoting economic growth, reducing poverty and creating the conditions for a more sustainable society, the SEK336bn (€34bn) pension fund said.A spokeswoman for AP2 declined to say how much the fund has invested in the Canadian dollar-denominated issue. Overall, the bond issue raised more than CAD1.2bn (€787m), according to the World Bank. It said more than 40 investors had placed orders and described the issue as “comfortably oversubscribed”.AP2 said its policy was to reveal the size of investments only twice a year, when it publishes its holdings.Data from the World Bank showed the bond, which carries a coupon of 2.25%, sold just below face value at 99.433% of its target.Some 55% of the investors were based in Canada and 24% were from Europe and the Middle East, the bank said. Asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds made up 42% of the investors by type.Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, said: “We need US$7trn (€5.7trn) to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – and we will not achieve them if we leave half our population behind.”This was why the World Bank and Canada were committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women, she said.Last June, AP2 invested an undisclosed amount in a social bond issued by the Netherlands’ NWB Bank to finance affordable housing in the country.last_img read more

first_imgPatience paid off for Lance Arneson in the form of the Saturday night IMCA Modified feature win at Shawano Speedway. (Photo by A and H Photos)By Scott OwenSHAWANO, Wis. (May 6) – Lance Arneson proved what mom always said, that patience is a vir­tue, Saturday at Shawano Speedway.Like a lion stalking his prey, Arneson waited for the optimal moment to pounce, with a turn four pass for the lead on the final lap to win his first IMCA Modified feature of the year.Konnor Wilinski grabbed the lead on lap one as his dad Jerry moved to second. Arneson soon got past Jerry Wilinski to move to second.Konnor Wilinski and Arneson ran away and hid from the rest of the pack as they eventually had a near straight away advantage over third-running Jerry Wilinski. As Konnor Wilinski contin­ued to lead, Arneson stayed within a car length while sizing up the leader and patiently waiting to make a move.Lap after lap ticked away with Konnor Wilinski still leading.  With two laps remaining, Arneson took a peak to the inside. Wilinski shut the door, though, and continued to lead. Entering turn one on the final lap, Arneson again had a nose to the inside of Wilinski but again the leader was faster out of turn two.Entering turn three, Arneson again got inside of Wilinski, and this time he would not be denied as the duo ran side-by-side through turns three and four.  On the front stretch Arneson pulled ahead and beat Wilinski to the checkered flag.Travis Van Straten won a second straight IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature while Jordan Bahrkoltz hoisted the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod trophy.last_img read more

first_imgHans Holbein bids to give Aidan O’Brien a third successive triumph in the MBNA Chester Vase and his sixth in all when facing five rivals on the Roodee on Thursday. Press Association The son of Montjeu, who also held an entry in Friday’s Dee Stakes, is Ballydoyle’s only representative from seven possibles. Hans Holbein, has had a busy spring campaign already winning the latest of two starts last month at Leopardstown. center_img He will be taken on by Godolphin’s Future Empire, who was well beaten by Christophermarlowe in Epsom’s Derby Trial two weeks ago. David Brown saddles Medrano, placed in both his starts in France this term, while Mike de Kock’s Tannaaf, easy Leicester maiden winner Storm The Stars and the Richard Hannon-trained Proposed complete the six-strong field. Four of the six – Hans Holbein, First Empire, Storm The Stars and Proposed – hold entries in the Investec Derby. last_img read more

first_imgToday marks 19 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. Commemorations began at sunrise with the traditional unfurling of the American flag on the side of the Pentagon. In New York City, the traditional reading of the names of the victims will be recorded this year due to the pandemic. And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will pay their respects.Mike Pence and his lovely wife Karen will be in New York. The Vice President is expected to deliver a spiritual message.last_img read more

first_img(REUTERS) – Diego Maradona criticised the faltering Argentina team yesterday and appealed for another chance at managing the national side.A day after they lost 4-2 to Nigeria in a friendly in Russia, Maradona, who last managed Argentina at the 2010 World Cup, hit out the current setup in a short Instagram message.“I am angry because they have thrown away our prestige, but it’s not the fault of the lads,” he said. “I WANT TO COME BACK!!!”Maradona, who is currently coach of United Arab Emirates side Al Fujairah, posted statistics of 11 recent Argentina managers that showed his success rate was 75 per cent, greater even than that of Cesar Luis Menotti, who won the World Cup in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo, who lifted the trophy in 1986 when Maradona was at his brilliant playing best.“Who won most?” Maradona wrote. “We draw our own conclusions.”The former Boca Juniors and Napoli striker led Argentina to the quarter-finals in Germany, where they were knocked out by the host nation.Current Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has had an inconsistent start to his tenure since taking charge in June, winning four of his first eight games, but only one of four competitive fixtures.The Argentines only qualified for next year’s World Cup finals thanks to a hat-trick from Lionel Messi in their last game against Ecuador.last_img read more